Page 4395 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
have thought about it and we are all in astonishing, riotous agreement. I think this is very good. I argue that the Assembly pass this amendment to the standing order today and that we then use it for committees to produce better results.
As it is a cognate debate, I will turn to Mr Smyth’s motion. Unlike my motion, which has been on the notice paper for months, Mr Smyth’s notice of motion appeared today. But I note he also has another motion suggesting that the entire set of rules for committees to consider reports be referred to the relevant standing committee, and that seems like a good idea. I am not going to support Mr Smyth’s notice No 2 today, but I am going to support his notice No 3, because that says this matter should be considered by the relevant committee, and I think that is a good idea.
The essence of my position is that I will be supporting my motion, naturally. Secondly, I do not support Mr Smyth’s first motion, but I will support Mr Smyth’s second motion. I commend this approach to the Assembly.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.19): Perhaps again Dr Bourke has unwittingly displayed his lack of understanding of how this is going to work. The point was that we probably will not be voting on Nos 1 or 2 at all. They will actually be adjourned and both motions will be sent to the administration and procedure committee, which is the normal practice in this place when changes to the standing orders are proposed.
Dr Bourke claims that by taking some of his words and including them in my amendment I accept his proposition. In fact, having looked at his proposition, I thought it made the whole thing so much unclearer that it needed the reworking of all the standing orders from standing order 247 to standing order 252.
Dr Bourke talks about the estimates committee. I suspect the attempt by Mr Gentleman is a more appropriate reason to redraft the standing orders that relate to committees and consideration of reports. Mr Gentleman as chair did not have passed a motion that the report, as amended, be agreed to. So in fact he brought to this place something that had not been agreed to by the committee at all, something on which no vote had been cast.
What I have done is take some of the pieces from Dr Bourke’s proposed amendment and then tried to make a far more sequential attempt at a process that the committees follow. What I have laid out is the process that certainly has been followed since I have been a member in this place. I need to cross-reference this with the existing standing orders. The existing standing order 247 states:
It shall be the duty of the Chair of every committee to prepare a draft report.
According to Dr Bourke, this is at the meeting convened for that purpose. His amendment states:
At a meeting convened for the purpose, the Chair shall submit the draft report which may be considered at once. Copies shall be circulated in advance to each Member of the Committee.